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The Birth Of Jesus Announced

Worship
IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD
Scriptures For The Lectionary Speaking Choir
Suggestions:
Use in ordinary sequence with the scripture reading.
3 readers -- teen-aged girl, adult woman, adult man

Key:
1 = woman storyteller
2 = Gabriel
3 = Mary

1: In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town
in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose
name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was
Mary.

2: And he came to her and said, "Greetings, favored one! The Lord
is with you."

1: But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort
of greeting this might be.

2: The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have
found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and
bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.

(2:) He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most
High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his
ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end."

3: Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a
virgin?"

2: The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the
child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.

(2:) And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also
conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said
to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God."

3: Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be
with me according to your word."

1: Then the angel departed from her.

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While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

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Pause, Sign, Ponder, Reflect
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When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. (v. 4)

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Acts 3:12-19
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Note: This installment was originally published for April 22, 2012.

During the time of the Reformation, John Foxe of England was impressed by the testimony of the early Christians. He gleaned the pages of early historical writings, and wrote a book that has become a classic in the church: Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

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The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
Call to Worship:
Jesus said, "Peace be with you. You are witnesses to the living Christ." Let us welcome the living Christ in our worship today.

Invitation to Confession:

Jesus, sometimes we are frightened and anxious.
Lord, have mercy.


Jesus, sometimes we aren't good witnesses to you.
Christ, have mercy.


Jesus, forgive us for all those things we think and do which we know are wrong.

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John A. Stroman
The theme of 1 John all along has been the love of God. The author now expands that love in the phrase, "the children of God," and for the first time he considers what it means to be the children of God. Earlier, he presented love within the fellowship and now he speaks of the meaning of God's love for us and its implications for the future. The consequences and proof of the love of God are evident in being called "the children of God." He is careful to point out that the love of God is a gift; we do not earn it.
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Here's the scene. The disciples are huddled together and they have just heard Simon's account of experiencing the risen Christ when Cleopas and his companion enter and add word of their encounter with the risen Christ. Luke describes the scene like this: "While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you.' They were startled and terrified, and thought they were seeing a ghost" (v. 36).
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First Lesson: Acts 3:12-19
Theme: Responding to God with repentance

Call To Worship
Leader: Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!
People: Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven!
Leader: Let us proclaim in all the world the glory due God's name!
People: Let us bring our offerings into the courts of Almighty God!
Leader: Let us come together and bring praise for our salvation in Christ!
All: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Collect

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